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2.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,019 ratings  ·  234 reviews
In 1982 the Commodore 64 computer was introduced, Ronald Reagan survived being shot, the Falkland War started and ended, Michael Jackson released, Thriller, Canada repatriated its Constitution, and the first compact disc was sold in Germany. And that’s not all. In 1982 I blossomed from a naive fourteen-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids to something much more: a ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Viking Canada
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Feb 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
Boring, repetitive and totally missing the mark in terms of his audience. Seriously, dude. Mentioning the girl who looked like Kristy McNichol's tan about 1002 times? Explaining what a phone cord is? Talking incessantly about how hard it was to be Bowie when you're brown? (Even us pasty white kids could never be Bowie, so get over it already.) He spends most of the half of the book I read explaining (ad nauseum) things that anyone who will actually take the time to read this book will already un ...more
David Yoon
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it
"Murray’s mom made really good chili, and lots of kids made regular trips to Murray’s house to have some of his mom’s chili. She seemed to always have chili ready. Murray’s house became known for his mom’s chili. Murray was well liked, but his mom’s chili made him even more popular."

Jian is no writer. Without the notoriety of his day job there would be no book. But his stature as a minor Canadian deity is inescapably linked to the reading of the book. As a fan of Q I'm sure I'm not alone in read
Nov 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
I am only on page 21 and I already agree his writing style does not flow and the lists are no longer welcome. I bought the book so I will read it but i already want to be finished. I am interested in the music commentary. Jiam is over explaining too much and I do think he is confused as to who his audience is. Perhaps not me as I was teenager in the 80's and know what it was like.
I read the first hundred pages. I don't want to finish this book. There are so many enjoyable books to get to.
Mara Shaw
Jan 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Dixie cups were emblematic of 1982. So were Boy George, David Bowie, a changing landscape of racism and coming to grips with an expanding view of sexual norms. It's unfortunate that writing about it all in the voice of a 13 year old is merely irritating, not engaging.

From time to time I laughed with recognition of the universality of teen-age life in North America in 1982. Yes -- we loved mixed tapes and the trek down to the record store to buy the latest release. (And, yes, we feared the judge
Beth J
Oct 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Status: Read. Well, no, actually - made myself read 100 pages, but it didn't improve, so I stopped. Wish I hadn't read any of it - I quite enjoy Jian Ghomeshi as an interviewer and broadcaster, so I really didn't need to know what a poor writer he is. Takes a bit of the bloom off of the rose. The book is lame. As in, 15 year old guy lame. Just because he was writing about his early years, it doesn't mean he had to write as though he were a teenager (and I've read much better teenage writing). Re ...more
Your enjoyment of this book probably depends on your predisposition to Jian Ghomeshi. I'm a fan from his Moxy Früvous days but even my patience was stretched at points in its indulgence. It's pleasant enough and there's some great stories in here (all more or less surrounding Jian's teenage life in 1982), but he often gets in the way of his own stories with recurring conceits that aren't all that effective in the first place and overall repetitiveness. I swear he repeats wholesale sentences, som ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I had been planning to use the word 'twee' to describe the voice of this memoir, but then Ghomeshi used the word himself and after that I found that my slight criticism had come undone, much like the laces of a Treetorn sneaker.

Here is a shortlist of the reasons I enjoyed this book:
1. It brought up some long-forgotten memories of my own highschool days circa 1984
2. It prompted me to listen to a lot of old music
3. Listening to a lot of old music made me laugh

This book is definitely worth a read
Tina Siegel
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
I think Ghomeshi is a smart man, a good broadcaster and a fantastic musician. I'm a fan of his. So I really wanted to like his book, and I tried to. I gave it my best shot.

I didn't quite succeed.

There are lovely bits - mostly when he stops worrying about his gimmiky through-lines (ie. Wendy, David Bowie, self-confidence and the lack thereof), and discusses his family, or music. He'e even got a few nice turns of phrase.

For the most part, though, this is the kind of quasi-competent writing that an
Andrew Griffith
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
1982 is Gomeshi's memoirs as a teenager in a suburb of Toronto. While he is a wonderful radio host, as a writer, not so. Maybe he was trying to write as a teenager. Maybe he really is as obsessed over his teenage years. Maybe he thinks this period was really interesting and were his ‘glory days’. Maybe each discovery of a new rock or new wave group was unique and amazing. Maybe his Adidas bag was truly iconic. Maybe he dictated his book rather than writing more thoughtfully. And maybe he had not ...more
Kathleen O'Grady
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was impossible not to hear Jian Ghomeshi's voice in my head when I read this book. And that's a good thing. He's one of Canada's top cultural interviewers (I'd rank only Eleanor Wachtel above him), and his daily CBC radio show Q is deservedly one of Canada's most popular and highly respected cultural talk shows.

In short, I love Jian Ghomeshi. But I really hate this book.

The idea for the book isn't a bad one: a coming of age story centred around a pivotal year in new wave music and the author'
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-wins, owned
Received my copy this week and am looking forward to it. Came with a very cool book themed cassette case liner. Very clever when it comes to marketing and the readers sense of nostalgia, admittedly that appeal was what pushed me into entering the draw for this one in the first place. I am only a little younger than the author and the description really touched that younger version of me that still lives in the 80's. More to come when I get to reading this one....

I LOVED IT! It was touching, funn
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Admiration for Jian was my main motivation for picking up this book, but then became my only reason to continue reading it. Overall it is an entertaining look at his early teen years, but Jian tells his story through a seemingly unnecessary repetition of facts as though we are only just tuning into Q half way through the show rather than being with him from page one. Some of his short lists (or shortlists) were interesting looks at life in the 80s, but more frequently, they simply
summarized wha
Karen Green
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I definitely had a hometown advantage reading this book, having grown up in Thornhill and having attending both the same elementary and high school as Jian (granted, a few years later).

Nostalgia played a huge part in my enjoyment of this book, as did my habit of reading it in Jian's smooth voice. This was not a life-changer, but it was certainly fun, as a music-lover, a former suburbanite and a fan of the author.

Christine Brown
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, 2012
Just for the record . . . . I was always suspicious of him.
Debra Komar
Mar 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
I had to reread this for a piece I am writing and it was far worse the second time around. This book is dull, repetitive and devoid of insight. But what really stood out on second glance is Jian's condescending attitude toward his reader. Countless times throughout the book, Jian tells you what you are thinking and feeling. He doesn't guess - he knows. Worse still, he then tells you what you are supposed to think and feel. He also seems continually convinced that his reader will not believe what ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I won this book in a First Reads Giveaway.

Jian Ghomeshi's "rock memoir" 1982 has left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed his vivid descriptions, often self-deprecating sense of humour, short lists, and cultural references, but I felt let down by the stylistic elements of the book. I know that doesn't matter to many readers, but I find it a tough thing to overlook.

Ghomeshi describes his book as a work of creative nonfiction, which usually allows for a little more wiggle room when discu
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: could-not-finish
My feelings as I am 75 pages in:

This is so difficult for me to say. Jian Ghomeshi, Canada's greatest interviewer, cannot write well. Maybe that's not true. It seems like he really just phoned it in. He starts multiple sentences in nearly each paragraph with "And", includes so far about 10 lists, and repeats things over and over. Quality-wise, it seems like a grade eight class report.

I feel that Jian could really write an insightful, moving book if only he tried. 1982 would have been better as an
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I obtained my copy of as a winner of a First Reads giveaway.

1982, if not quite a coming-of-age story, is full of self-discovery, with no shortage of the angst, longing for acceptance and exploration of identity one associates with the early teen years. Music (especially David Bowie's music) serves as a catalyst for this journey. Chapters titles are songs that were hits in 1982 and serve as a "soundtrack", i.e. the songs are thematically linked to the particular story being told in the chapter.

Aug 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, this book is written from the perspective of a 14/15-year-old Jian and seems geared towards the same age group.

So were I 14/15, I'd probably enjoy this a lot more. Not only because of the writing style, but also because he describes things I don't need described. For example, he regularly brings up objects that are old enough that the young never used them but young enough that those of us who have used them aren't nostalgic about them yet. He'll spend a page or two describing how
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Painfully repetitive. Is Jian Ghomeshi brown? Does he like David Bowie? You are about to find out. He'll tell you 40 times. In one chapter. Didn't actually realize that Jian Ghomeshi was the Q Radio personality until about three quarters of the way through, but unfortunately that couldn't save this book for me.

Very predictable chapter formats overused throughout the book, back-story segways could be painful at times. Excessive use of "short-lists" popped up, each numbered list falling directly a
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I've been a longtime fan of Jian Ghomeshi and his radio/TV program "Q." I consider him one of the best broadcasters right now in Canada; he comes well-researched into interviews and picks up on guests' emotions/thoughts and explores them. However, I find Jian can come across as egotistical and snobbish. Much of his first attempt at memoir writing with "1982" is in that vain. He explains phone cords, cassette players, taking public transit and placing calls in the 1980s in detail. He's like that ...more
Mark Janveau
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
There are a few reasons why my rating of this book is biased right from the start. I was two years younger than the author in 1982 and grew up not far from where he did. I remember a lot of the places, fads and people he discusses in this book. I too had a nice, striped faux leather Adidas gym bag! Also, I was a fan of the author's band Moxy Fruvous back in the day. Prince and pauper, junior and whopper...

Even if you weren't a Canadian suburban teenager in the 80's this is still worth a read.
Lynne Page
What an amazing story of growing up and listening to music in the early 80s.

Not surprising, this is a funny little read that'll keep you laughing and going "Oh yeah!" in your head while sitting on the bus. Just ignore the people beside you giving you odd looks when your face lights up with recognition.

Jian Ghomeshi uses simple sentences and quirky repetition to capture the essence of being 14 and trying to find your place in the world. He kept me entertained the entire read, and made me smile
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I was 8 years old in 1982, but the music from that era contains to be a major part of my existence today. I have loved Jian Ghomeshi ever since I fell in love with an "indie" band called Moxy Fruvous, and I enjoy listending to "Q" when I'm awake for it. I really enjoyed this book till about 3/4 of the way through; then, certain things started to get irritating. And I did NOT like the end. After feeling for Jian's "character" all the way through the book - and finally getting away from wanting hi ...more
Mar 25, 2015 added it
Recommends it for: no one!
Shelves: non-fiction
As a nerdy Canadian I listened to a lot of Q (the CBC radio show former hosted by Ghomeshi). I found Ghomeshi's interviews to be interesting and I loved the way Q approached Canadian pop culture. I considered myself a fan of Ghomeshi so when I saw that he had written a book and it was being given away here on GR I jumped at the opportunity. By the time I had won and received my copy my enthusiasm had somewhat faded. I probably got about a chapter into the book while playing a game of pick-it-up- ...more
Aug 25, 2013 added it
Recommends it for: Q listeners, Moxy Fruvous Fans, Canadian kids of the 1980s.
I am keeping my original review intact, as originally written, but please note I have created a new shelf for it: Self Serving Bullshit by Sociopths.

1. Jian Ghomeshi loves lists.
2. Jian Ghomeshi is a (natural born) story teller, with a great mind for detail, time, place setting.
3. He has a funny, self depreciating world view, so sees himself as the skinny brown kid, when people probably thought he was that kid who was always doing cool stuff.
4. He can turn a funny phrase and see absurdity and hu
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy most music memoirs, and Jian Ghomeshi's 1982 is no different. Ghomeshi explores a variety of subjects, including race, sexuality, popularity, music, conformity, creativity, and suburban life all through the lens of his 14-year-old self. He relates stories that happened to him in 1982 that helped shape him in what he calls the most formative year of his life. His stories are refreshingly honest and open, and they are often hilarious in their nerdy awkwardness. His prose occasionall ...more
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting sort of a memoir...following one crucial year in the early life of the author...and the music that accompanied and defined this educational year.

My thoughts:
1) I appreciated the musical education--the Police, Clash, Talking Heads, Radiohead and, of course, David Bowie. I was constantly looking up music videos as I was reading, and was surprised at how many songs were familiar, considering I can't remember much of the 80s.
2) Ghomeshi's elucidation of the self-aware trying-to-be-coo
3.75 stars

Jian Ghomeshi, now known as the host of Q on CBC Radio and as one of the members of the 1990s band, Moxy Fruvous, was 14/15 years old in 1982. He and his Iranian family had immigrated to Canada from England a few years earlier. In 1982, Jian was interested in New Wave music and David Bowie was his idol. Jian also had a crush on an older girl at school, Wendy. In this book, Jian recounts his insecurities, not only at being a 14-year old boy, but also a “brown” immigrant trying to fit in
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was a 2 1/2 stars for me. I liked the premise, I did't realize how similar Jian's childhood/teen years were to mine. I could relate to many of his stories, I really enjoyed the musical component to this book. What I did not enjoy was his writing style. I was extremely disapppointed and somewhat surprised at how "basic" some of his sentences were, to the point I thought an 8 year old was writing this book. Maybe it was intentional but I found it annoying. I am not sure where his editor was o ...more
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Jian Ghomeshi is an award-winning broadcaster, writer, musician and producer. He is the host and co-creator of the national daily talk program, Q, on CBC Radio One and CBC TV. Since its inception in 2007, Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has become the highest- rated show in its morning time slot in CBC history. Q is also now broadcast across the Un ...more
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